Re: Looking for transcription or transliteration standards latin- >arabic

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sat Jul 03 2004 - 16:22:08 CDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Looking for transcription or transliteration standards latin- >arabic"

    Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin <antonio at tuvalkin dot web dot pt> wrote:

    >> Only specialists can make sense of them,
    > Pray tell, why so? Is the letter "â" an usuperable obstacle for those
    > who know only the letter "a"?...
    > Can't the "remove diacriticals" action be performed in the reader's
    > brain, instead of in the typesetter's office?

    But if the reader merely removes the diacriticals, that destroys the
    whole purpose of using a *transliteration* scheme, where 'a' and 'â'
    represent different letters in the source writing system.

    Jony's point (I think) was that only specialists can keep track of which
    target characters represent which source characters, especially when
    obscure diacritics or digits or other symbols are used. At that point,
    the specialist probably knows the source characters well enough to read
    them directly, and the widespread use of Unicode enables document
    producers to use them directly.

    Transcriptions are another matter; the reader can read "Tchaikovsky" or
    "Beijing" without knowing anything at all about Cyrillic or Chinese, and
    still come close (theoretically) to the real pronunciation.

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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